The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has called for retailers to get equal treatment with doctors and nurses when those convicted of violent attacks

against them are convicted. James Lowman, ACS chief cxecutive, made the demand in a letter to Justice Secretary Jack Straw in support of Respect for Shop Workers Week run by USDAW, the shop workers union. In the letter, the ACS said it had called for clarity in the sentencing guidelines to ensure that harming a retailer at work is treated as an aggravating factor when convicted offenders are sentenced. The organisation asked Straw to expand current sentencing guidelines to make explicit that attacks on workers that provide a service in the local community, like shop workers, should always be subject to the same treatment as public sector workers like nurses, police and firemen.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “Shop workers deliver an essential service to the public across the UK, and it is vital that attacks on them are treated with the same severity as an attack on a nurse or policeman."